Starting Active-HDL as the Default Simulator in Microchip Libero


This document describes how to start Active-HDL right from Microchip Libero to run pre-synthesis, post-synthesis and post-layout simulations. This application note has been verified on Active-HDL 13.0 and Libero 2021.3.

Installing Microchip libraries in Active-HDL

In order to run the simulation successfully, depending on the design either VHDL or Verilog, Microchip libraries have to be installed in Active-HDL. You can check what libraries are currently installed in your Active-HDL using the Library Manager tool. You can access Library Manager from the menu View | Library Manager. You can install precompiled Microchip libraries in multiple ways:

  1. If you are using an Active-HDL DVD to install the software then you will get the option to select and install the Microchip libraries during the installation.

  2. If you have received a web link to download Active-HDL, you will find the links on the same page to download Microchip libraries.

  3. Pre-compiled Active-HDL libraries are also available at Microchip

  4. At any time you can visit the update center to download the latest Microchip libraries at the Support Portal

Set Active-HDL as Simulator in Libero Design Flow

Once an Microchip Libero project is opened, options for the Microchip Libero project can be set in the Profile window (from main menu Project | Tool Profiles…) as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1

In the Tool Profiles window, select Simulation and click on the plus (+) sign. To replace the default simulator with Active-HDL, please type Active-HDL in the Name field, select Active HDL as Tool integration and then click the Browse button to specify the location of Active-HDL executable. You will need to browse to the Active-HDL installation folder, go to the \BIN subfolder, and select the avhdl.exe file. Click OK. Figure 2 illustrates this.

Figure 2

Active-HDL should now appear in the Tool Profiles selected as a default HDL simulator, see Figure 3.

Figure 3

Configuring your Libero Project Settings

Before running a simulation, you will need to prepare your Libero project with all needed HDL sources and specify the proper stimulus. Once all of the HDL source files are in the Libero project, it is important that the users go to menu Project | Project Settings... and click on the DO File option under the Simulation as shown below.

Figure 4

The libero tool is capable of launching Active-HDL simulation with automatically generated scripts (DO file). If you choose to do so, please make sure you select the proper values for:

  • Simulation runtime

  • Testbench module name

  • Top level instance name in the testbench

Configuring the Simulation Library settings

If your design is using any components from Microchip device library you will have to set the right path for the library to be used. This is especially important in case if you are running timing (post-layout) simulation.

Go to the menu Project | Project Settings.... Under Simulation Libraries, select the target device.

  1. Set the library path to the location of the pre-compiled library in Active-HDL. For instance, C:/Aldec/Active-HDLxx.x/vlib/microsemi/soc/smartfusion2/smartfusion2.

Now you should be ready to run your simulation in Active-HDL.

Starting Active-HDL from Libero

To start Active-HDL from Libero IDE, simply double-click the level of simulation as shown below.

Figure 5

Active-HDL will be invoked. Compilation and simulation messages will be printed to the Console window. The waveform window will automatically open and signals will be traced as shown below.

Figure 6

Please note that you can use the simulation control buttons (Run, Run Until, Run For and Active-HDL Restart Simulation) to control the simulation. For example, you can restart the simulation without leaving Active-HDL by clicking on the button for Restart Simulation. The simulation control buttons are located on top of the waveform window.

Ask Us a Question
Ask Us a Question
Captcha ImageReload Captcha
Incorrect data entered.
Thank you! Your question has been submitted. Please allow 1-3 business days for someone to respond to your question.
Internal error occurred. Your question was not submitted. Please contact us using Feedback form.
We use cookies to ensure we give you the best user experience and to provide you with content we believe will be of relevance to you. If you continue to use our site, you consent to our use of cookies. A detailed overview on the use of cookies and other website information is located in our Privacy Policy.